‘Tis the season for gifts and giving. Giving gifts is a great way to show someone you care about them this festive season, but perhaps the best way of doing that is making a gift yourself. Homemade Christmas presents can be a great gesture. I personally, will be making my friends and family some homemade Christmas jam.
This is a thoughtful and relatively simple way of making something special this year. Make a big batch, give them to those you care about and when they’re cracking into their cheeseboard this festive season – you’ll be in their thoughts.
This recipe combines a traditional festive flavour, a bit of a kick and of course some red wine. With the quick addition of a multi-pack of small glass jars, (or old jam jars), and maybe some ribbon, you’ve got a unique and delicious homemade Christmas present to give this year.
So, here’s our recipe for Cranberry, Wine & Chilli Christmas Jam.
Ingredients for Cranberry, Wine & Chilli Christmas Jam (Makes 4 Jam Jars)
- 600g fresh or frozen cranberries
- 350g caster sugar
- 300ml red wine
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4/5 fresh red chillies
- 4 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
This recipe will create a deliciously sweet, spicy and boozy Christmas jam. However, the choice of wine can take the dish in two different directions. It is best to go for a dry red wine. This will meld with the flavours perfectly and help to balance the acidic cranberries. This includes choices such as, Sangiovese (Chianti), Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
The factor that can change the taste of your Christmas Jam it is how full bodied and alcoholic a wine you choose. This will have a huge impact on the spiciness of the Jam. Due to this Christmas Jam recipe containing a good chunk of chilli, it’s best to factor this into your choice of wine.
The recipe is intended to have a kick and it will, regardless of your choice of wine. However, if you’re not someone with a particular penchant for spice, then it’s best to stick with a light and fruity wine such as Pinot Noir. Another alternative is Cabernet Sauvignon. If you don’t like spice then make sure you chose a wine which does not go above 12.5% ABV, (Alcohol by Volume).
Now, I know that amongst the readers there will be the chilli masochists. Perhaps the intended recipient of this Christmas jam is one. In that case, the key thing to look for is ABV. The boozier, the better in terms of unlocking new levels of spice. For this option, there is one option in particular that works as intended. This is the spicy Sangiovese Superior from I Muretti.
In Italian wine, the term ‘Superiore’, (Superior), is used to indicate that the wine has a ABV percentage which is higher than the normal requirement for this appellation. The dry and delicious Sangiovese is taken to the next level of booziness. This will ensure an extra kick of spice from this Christmas jam recipe.
Spicy Sangiovese Superiore
How to Make Cranberry, Red Wine & Chilli Christmas Jam
- Peel and finely slice the shallots and garlic, then deseed and finely slice the chillies.
- Place the onions and the chillies in a large saucepan and cook on a low heat for around 8 minutes until they begin to soften. Then, add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add all the cranberries and stir the mixture together.
- Add all the wine and around half of the sugar and continue to add the sugar as the wine simmers down. Here you want to be tasting as you go, to ensure the mixture is the desired sweetness.
- Close the lid and simmer gently for around 20 minutes.
- Begin to mash and crush the cranberries now. This brings out further juices and adds new dimensions to the texture of the dish.
- Cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool. As it cools the mixture should really thicken up and darken. If you want to loosen it up again, to achieve a different consistency, just add some water and gently bring up to the heat.
There you have it – a simple and delicious Christmas jam that can make a great homemade present for a friend, a loved one, or just yourself.
You can tweak this recipe to taste and add spices to really make it your own. If you make your own dish, we’d love to see it – share it on any one of the Savage Vines social pages!
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